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This impact evaluation analyses the findings and lessons emerging from the Oxfam Enterprise Development Programme’s (EDP) work with Pavitra enterprise in Nepal.

EDP is designed to improve the livelihoods of smallholder producers and promote positive gender outcomes, by supporting the development of viable commercial enterprises, typically owned and run by the smallholder farmers themselves. In 2010, EDP started supporting one such enterprise in Nepal – the Pavitra cooperative – with a package of loans, grants, training and business mentoring.

This evaluation is based on the collection of common baseline and follow-up data on a random sample of 132 members of the Pavitra cooperative and 185 members of comparison cooperatives. A statistical method, combining propensity-score matching (PSM) with double difference was used to estimate EDP’s impact on the livelihoods of the project’s direct beneficiaries.

Notwithstanding the caveats, the evidence available on both intermediate and final outcomes yields a set of interesting results. The study shows a positive impact on a range of indicators of women’s empowerment, such as their economic roles at home, their ability to influence affairs in their community and the cooperative, and their level of self-efficacy. While there are positive outcomes for the livelihoods of Pavitra members, the evaluation indicates that more needs to be done to see significant improvements in indicators of material wealth and material well-being. 

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